hey quick q idk if it's been answered already but have aros & aces historically been a part of the lgbt community? like whats the history? idk im just seein all this ace discourse & idk where to stand. ty!
All right, my answer may be long because I think it is important to make sure we have a nuanced discussion around this.
The answer to this question is not a clear one. There are instances where asexual and aromantic people have been excluded from the queer community, but there are also instances where they have been included.
The problem with saying “Aces have always been a part of the queer community” or “Aces have never been a part of the queer community” is that you will be wrong either way.
Asexual and aromantic people have historically had to face exclusion from the queer community, and they still do today. They have also historically been a part of the queer community (I will always point people to The Golden Orchid because I think it is one of the most clear examples of asexual and aromantic inclusion in the queer community).
So to have this discussion in a clear and healthy way we need to first divorce ourselves of the idea that the queer community is some monolithic thing.
We have always had division; and in every place and in every time period the queer community is different. Queer people haven’t generally been able to organize on a global scale, so there is no truth of the queer community that is true everywhere and in every time.
The internet has given us an advantage in that we can have discussions internationally within the queer community, which has never happened before to the scale it is happening today. Which makes right now a turning point for the queer community.
The decisions we make today will be recorded in the history books of tomorrow. So it is time for us all to decide what kind of community we want to be.
Throughout history we have examples of when our community has been exclusive and catered only to a select few identities, and we have examples of the opposite happening. We have examples of people coming together to fight for the rights and the safety of not only people who share their exact struggle but for people who face a whole different set of obstacles. And it is time for us all to decide what type of people we want to be remembered as.
The very word queer is vague which many people now find issue with but I think is a distinct advantage. It does not narrow our community down to a series of labels we care about.
And if I have learned anything from my ongoing study of queer history, it is that how society has treated different sexual and gender identities has changed throughout time. And to assume that will stop with us seems pretty arrogant.
There have been times when being gay has been accepted in certain societies. But because of these times does that mean that gay people don’t deserve a place in the queer community? Of course not.
I fully believe there have been times when asexual and/or aromantic people have been fully accepted in society at certain points. But now is not that time. So we include them. We fight for them because right now that is what is needed.
I love the queer community. For all it’s many flaws I have faith in it. One of the reasons I love it is because of how inclusive we have the power to be.
I cannot make this decision for anyone else. But as someone who studies queer history, I can say that while the past can give us much, it is ultimately the present and the future we must make our decisions for.